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LeadingEdition: E-Newsletter for Purdue University Supervisors

Don?t give much thought to overtime? Better think again.

Does this sound familiar?

Dedicated operations assistant Mary sits at her desk most days while she eats her lunch. During this time she answers the phone, responds to University e-mail, and takes instructions from passing department members on how to complete a project. You?ve never asked her to work extra hours and, in fact, have told her just to relax during her lunch hour. But Mary says she doesn?t mind; she?d rather answer the phone than listen to it ring.

Seems harmless, doesn?t it? But if Mary?s regular schedule has her working 40 hours a week, this lunchtime work makes her eligible for overtime. And if you?re not paying her, this seemingly benign behavior could turn into trouble

Why be concerned about overtime?

Supervisors need to know about overtime because federal law requires it. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay overtime to certain categories of employees when they work more than 40 hours in one workweek. In addition, Purdue policy requires overtime be paid to clerical and service staff who work more than eight hours in one day.

Sometimes, supervisors don?t realize that the position or the situation qualifies for overtime. Even so, when it is determined that employees, like Mary in our example, are owed overtime, the total amount due must immediately be paid in full from the departmental budget. Below are some recent examples, illustrating the high cost of making mistakes about overtime.

Situation

Amount Charged to Department to
Pay Employee Proper Overtime

Once Error Was Discovered

bullet Department did not provide overtime pay to:

o Technical assistant.......................................................................$52,666.34
o
Operations assistant.......................................................................$4,652.50
o
Operations assistant.......................................................................$4,292.14
o
Operations assistant.....................................................................$40,363.78

bullet Employee worked overtime without permission........................................$930.78
bullet Clerical/service staff worked hours, but did not record on timecard........$10,073.32

Positions eligible for overtime

The table below summarizes which staff groups are exempt from the legal requirement to be paid for working overtime and which groups are non-exempt from this requirement. ?Exempt? and ?non-exempt? are federal government terms that are confusing to many people. Exempt means you do not pay overtime; non-exempt means you do pay overtime.

Exempt from Requirement --
No Overtime is Paid:

Non-Exempt from Requirement --
Must Pay Overtime:

bullet Administrative Supervisory (30A)
bullet Professional Assistant (60A)
bullet Management (20A)
bullet Professional (50A
bullet Extension Educator (80A)
bullet Graduate Staff (90A)
bullet Operations Assistant (40A)
bullet Technical Assistant (70A)
bullet Clerical
bullet Service

If you supervise non-exempt employees, you have a responsibility to make sure they keep accurate records of overtime worked and that they are paid at the correct rate.

Situations eligible for overtime

Overtime consists of events that extend the workday past 8 hours or the workweek past 40 hours, such as:

bullet

Asking a non-exempt employee to come in early or stay late.

bullet

A non-exempt employee comes in early or stays late without your permission.

bullet

A non-exempt employee takes work home, with or without your permission.

bullet

A non-exempt employee eats lunch at the workstation. If she or he is asked to do something work-related, the entire lunch period may become compensable.

bullet

Asking a non-exempt employee to volunteer for an activity, work-related or not.

bullet

Requiring a non-exempt employee to attend training or other events.

bullet

Calling a non-exempt employee back to the workplace, whether doing so is scheduled or unscheduled. This situation is referred to as a ?call back.?

bullet

A non-exempt employee travels for Purdue business. The rules can be very complicated; call your compensation analyst or HR service team representative before sending the employee on the trip.

bullet

A non-exempt employee works on an official University holiday or during an adverse weather recess. Overtime may result. If you?re not sure how overtime is affected, call your compensation analyst or HR service team representative for assistance.

How is overtime compensated?

bullet

At Purdue, there is no policy for compensatory time off (comp time) for any staff group. This means that Purdue employees must be paid wages for any overtime they work, rather than be given time off later.

bullet

All non-exempt employees are paid overtime at 1.5 times their hourly rate. (For monthly-paid non-exempt staff, an hourly rate is computed by the Payroll Department.)

bullet

For all non-exempt staff, the overtime rate begins when the employee works either more than 8 hours in one day or more than 40 hours in one workweek.

bullet

Regularly scheduled hours paid for holidays, vacation, sick leave, jury duty, bereavement leave, and military leave are included in the normal workweek to determine eligibility for overtime pay.

bullet

Call back pay is at the overtime rate for a minimum of 3.5 hours. Call your compensation analyst or HR service team representative for help with call back pay.

bullet

Working on holidays or during an adverse weather recess may result in overtime at varying rates of pay. Call for help with these situations.

Keeping records of overtime

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Overtime is calculated based on the 40-hour workweek, not on the biweekly time period. Overtime is due on hours in paid status beyond 40 in one workweek or, for clerical and service staff, beyond 8 in one day.

bullet

Non-exempt employees need to record exactly the hours they work to the nearest 1/10th of an hour (6 minutes).

bullet

The time sheet needs to be the only ?source of truth? and must reflect the actual days and hours the employee worked.

bullet

When a supervisor suspects an employee may have worked different hours than what is recorded on the time sheet, the supervisor needs to question the employee to make sure all overtime worked is being recorded accurately.

bullet

When a supervisor becomes aware that an employee failed to record overtime on the time sheet and was not paid the appropriate amount, the overtime must then be documented and compensated. Call your compensation analyst or HR service team representative for help.

bullet

If changes are made to an employee?s time sheet, both the employee and the supervisor must agree to the changes and must initial them.

Scheduling overtime

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Supervisors have the right to change work schedules to meet business needs, but not to avoid paying overtime. If you need your staff to work extra hours, but your business still needs to be open and fully staffed during regular hours, you need to pay overtime. On the other hand, if you have a special project that can only be completed on the weekend, and your operation does not need to be staffed earlier in the week, you can alter the schedule for that week so the work can be completed.

This can be a difficult issue, so you may want to consult with your compensation analyst before changing work schedules.

bullet

Supervisors should provide advance notice of overtime scheduling whenever possible.

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The maximum amount of overtime that may be scheduled is 8 hours in any 24-hour period or 20 hours in any workweek, except in emergencies.

bullet

Supervisors are responsible for the fair and equitable distribution of overtime among their staff members.

Flexible schedules and overtime

Flexible work schedules include a wide variety of formats. Some of the most common are:

bullet

Staggered hours: Persons are scheduled to start and stop at different times during the day

bullet

Flexi-year: 9-, 10-, and 11-month work schedules

bullet

Compressed workweek: 40 hours are worked in fewer than 5 full workdays

bullet

Flextime: Core hours are established with flexibility in starting and ending times revolving around the core time

Careful and thoughtful consideration is essential to a successful flexible work schedule. Ongoing flexible work schedules may impact scheduling and/or pay for holidays, vacations, and sick time.

bullet

Non-exempt employees may ask to work a flexible schedule; however, Purdue policy prohibits supervisors from requiring the use of a flexible schedule.

o If the supervisor requires overtime for one day, the non-exempt employee may ask to take off the equal number of hours another day during the same workweek instead of receiving overtime pay. The schedule must be flexed during the same workweek in which the overtime occurs, and the employee?s time slip must be properly documented to reflect the flexible work schedule.

bullet

Sometimes the personal needs of an employee may result in a request to vary the normal work schedule. Typically, such requests involve taking time off on one day and making it up on another. The result may be that the employee works more than 8 hours in one day. To accommodate these infrequent situations, a department head or designee may make an exception to the Purdue policy of overtime pay after 8 hours per day for a specific workweek.

bullet

In situations where a flexible work schedule involves the employee working more than 8 hours per day on a continuing basis?for example, for more than one workweek?a request for an exception to the Purdue policy of overtime pay after 8 hours per day is required in advance of implementation. Whether an infrequent or a continuing situation, the following guidelines apply:

o The proposed schedule must be mutually agreeable to the employee and supervisor.

o The supervisor and employee must document how the proposed flexible work schedule will work.

o All hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek must be paid at the overtime rate. ?Hours worked? will include all hours paid for holidays, vacation, sick leave, jury duty, bereavement leave, and military duty.

o The department head or designee must approve the schedule in advance of its implementation.

o The employee?s time slip must be properly documented to reflect the approved work schedule.

Exception requests should be forwarded to Compensation and Classification in Human Resource Services or to your respective HR service team or regional campus HR department for approval before implementation.

Issues relating to exempt staff

While employers are required to keep very specific records of time worked by non-exempt staff and are required to pay them overtime, that is not the case with employees in exempt positions. In fact, opinion letters issued by the Department of Labor?s Wage and Hour Division and the outcomes of recent court cases demonstrate that to do so can jeopardize the exempt status of the position. You need a different framework to guide your management of exempt employees. Here are some pertinent points:

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Supervisors can expect exempt staff to work a regular schedule.

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It is expected that there will be occasional deviations from the regular schedule for exempt staff members.

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Exempt staff members are expected to work extra time on occasion to complete projects. No overtime compensation or compensatory time off is provided for this extra time worked.

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Exempt staff members are expected to request permission from their supervisors ahead of time when they plan to be out of the office.

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Time taken off by exempt staff members should be tracked in no less than half-day increments only. Hours should not be tracked or recorded unless a Family Medical Leave is in effect.

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If there are issues with exempt staff being absent from work or taking off too much time, supervisors still must not track hours worked. You should address these issues in terms of employee performance, general availability during scheduled hours, or amount/quality of work produced.

For more information about pay and overtime, see the following sections of the Business Procedures Manual:

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Hours of Work

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Overtime for Biweekly Staff

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Overtime for Monthly-Paid Staff

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Pay Practices

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Pay Practices for Adverse Weather Conditions

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WorkLife Program (for flexible schedule information)

We encourage you to call your compensation analyst, your HR service team, or your regional campus HR representative when you have questions. If you are not sure who your analyst or HR representative is, please call Compensation and Classification at (765) 494-6848.

- Compensation and Classification Team

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LeadingEdition is an electronic newsletter for Purdue University supervisors.  It is produced and distributed by Purdue University Human Resources four times annually.  If you have questions, comments or suggestions relating to the newsletter, please call 49-41679 or email us.  Thank you.